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Climbodia: climbing, caving and sightseeing meet in Kampot

If you are looking for a new challenge, look no further than Climbodia. The Kampot-based company offers plenty of opportunities to test yourself, including rock-climbing and cave tours, all while enjoying some of the best scenery in the province.

Climbodia was started by a German national who saw great potential in the prehistoric cave of Phnom Kbal Romeas, where the tours take place. The man realised the cave was an ideal spot for rock climbing, with limestone walls that make it easy to install holds.

"He had the idea of starting rock climbing and cave tours as Kampot had nothing like this back then, despite its many natural attractions and tourist sites," Climbodia general manager Ork Seyha tells The Post.

The 25-year-old Cambodian gives a bit of history on the site. He says that, according to the elders, the area was near a Khmer Rouge garrison and that the mountain was used to hide large weapons during the civil war.

In a drastic turn of events, today the site has been turned into a place dedicated to outdoor activities, exercise, and self-empowerment, he says.

Seyha recalls how he first learned to climb.

"First, my boss taught me how to climb a tree. At first, I was scared, especially when descending; I wanted to cry and shout. With time, however, I lost my fear, and climbing became a delightful experience."

In the beginning, Climbodia had only two members who alone had to install holds, create the routes, and guarantee that all safety standards were met. Their goals was to popularise the sport in Cambodia, but to make that happen, they needed to make sure the routes were as safe as possible.

All equipment and materials used in the routes are high-quality products, almost all imported from France. Climbodia staff check all the equipment carefully before each climb to guarantee the safety of clients.

"Before letting tourists climb, my team explains how to use the equipment to ensure their safety. We stay with them throughout the whole climb and encourage them to be brave because some of them get scared.

“When they complete a route that they did not think they could finish, they get really happy," he says.

Rock climbing, abseiling and cave tours are all on offer, with prices ranging from $25 for an initiation course to $45 for a lead climbing course. Other tempting options are the Khmer highlight tour ($25), and the discovery tour ($40).

Cave tours are also on the menu. Phnom Kbal Romeas has stalactites, wondrous rock formations, shrines, and a plethora of rare plants that clients are sure to enjoy.

Once at the top, Climbodia staff tell clients about the spectacular sights they are enjoying, which include Bokor mountain, Phu Quoc (KohTral), salt and rice fields, and the beaches of Kep.

Climbodia is located in Kampot province's Teuk Chou district. To arrange a tour, call them at : 070 25 52 10/096 98 64 021. To know more about Climbodia, check their Facebook page or visit their website, www.climbodia.com.